IFA President Joe Healy said, based on IFA work with Minister Creed, the Department of Agriculture and exporters, he is confident a suitable replacement ferry will be in place by Stena when the current ferry is set to go into dry dock from February 20th to March 19th.
He said a new suitable vessel is being inspected and is expected to pass, “The critical issue is that there must be no change in our ferry capacity to export calves during this critical period for farmers and exporters.”
Joe Healy said the previous ferry put forward by Stena was inspected by the Department and was not suitable.
IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said, “”We need to see a significant increase in calf exports this year. With the increase in the dairy cow numbers and strong market demand in both Holland and Spain, there is major potential for the trade”.
Angus Woods also welcomed the positive work of Minister Creed on his recent visit to Turkey on live exports. “Turkey has real potential to become a major market for Irish live cattle exports. IFA visited Turkey late last year and it was clear the market has potential to take up to 100,000 head of cattle from Ireland.”